When it comes to Japanese anime, there are numerous amounts of manga series that are suitable for an anime adaptation. And these anime series see many anime fans, which helps make them a great success. However, quite a few anime shows have not seen a second season after their initial release. Much to the dismay of fans of the series, despite having some of the best animations of fight scenes, the first season ends up being the final season. This can occur for various reasons, such as straying too far from the source material, too much graphic violence, or the animation studio not wanting to move forward with a new season. Despite these shows being worth watching, they, unfortunately, did not get a second chance.
With that being said, this article will look at the best anime series in recent years and why it was cancelled or is yet to see a next season. Series such as Jujutsu Kaisen and Demon Slayer will not be included despite fans agreeing they deserve another season. And shows like Seven Deadly Sins will not be included because this is not a list of shows that do not deserve another season (sorry, Hawk). If the show had a special episode, OVA, or live-action adaptation made after the end of the series, they would not be counted as a second season. So, without further ado, here are fifteen of your favourite anime that did not get a second season (but certainly deserve one).
Disclaimer: It will be assumed that you have watched the anime series included on this list. Therefore, some major plot points will be discussed for some shows, so this stands as your spoiler warning.
This popular horror anime follows middle school student Koichi Sakakibara as he transferred to Class 3-3 in the Spring of 1998. Here he finds that his classmates are ignoring one girl, Mei Misaki, a mysterious dark-haired person wearing an eye patch. He grows close to her against his better judgement (and his classmate’s warnings). By the final episode, there have been some major reveals, plot twists, and many deaths. And spoiler alert, their homeroom teacher ends up being the cause of all the killings. In terms of why the show did not get a second season, it resulted from the anime ending similarly to the manga. This would mean that there is no more source material, right? But no, Another would not be on this list then. There is a sequel to the novel series, but judging from the time since the original series ended without a peep from the show creators, it is improbable that the sequel will be made into a series.
The plot of this anime follows high school student Oreki Hotarou, a teenage boy who wants to get through life as effortlessly as possible. However, his sister forces him to join the Classic Lit Club at the school to stop it from being shut down. Three other members also join him; Chitanda Eru, Satoshi Fukube, and Mayaka Ibara. They end up solving mysteries instead, and by the end of the series, the group of high schoolers discover that Kounosu from the rock climbing club was the culprit all along. In addition to this was Oreki and Chitanda’s blooming romance, which fans, unfortunately, did not get a straightforward conclusion to. The show was not greenlit for a second season as Kyoto Animation felt that the series was not received well in the anime community. Therefore, the studio thought it was best to spend their time, money and efforts on other long-term projects.
13. Angel Beats!
Anyone who has seen the ending of this anime can probably guess why it did not receive a second season. Well, that’s after they stop ugly crying. Following Yuzuru Otonashi, a boy with amnesia who ends up in the afterlife, the narrative is already set up to be sad. The show is set in a school environment type of Limbo for people with unfinished business or unresolved feelings. All the characters have experienced some form of trauma or hardship in their life and have died young. The end of the series sees the whole group having found peace and moving on to be reincarnated, save for Otonashi, who becomes school president. Despite not receiving a clear-cut ending, it can be assumed that he eventually passed on at a later stage. Unfortunately, there is not enough source material for a second season because the anime ending and manga ending line up. However, a prequel novel called Heaven’s Door and a retelling called Last Operation could serve as more material, seeing our favourite characters returning.
Set in a medieval fantasy land, the plot follows two adventurers: a human named Stunk and an elf named Zel. The pair enjoys spending their time at various brothels, leading to them writing reviews on their experiences at the business. Their reviews are then posted in a local tavern to help others decide which species they want to have sex with, making them a lot of money. Of course, reading the synopsis of the plot alone tells you that this is a very mature anime that sees some lewd scenes that bring it closer to hentai than some may be comfortable admitting. However, the show has a surprisingly large fanbase despite this. And it came as a surprise to many when Funimation streamed the show. After a few episodes, they removed the anime from their catalogue as it did not ‘mesh’ with their other content. Not long after, other streaming platforms also began removing the anime because of its explicit nature. And despite having a censored version, the series was still banned in some countries.
11. Tower of God
Based on the popular Korean webtoon manhwa of the same name, anime fans were ecstatic to find it was getting an anime adaptation. The story follows a boy named Twenty-fifth Bam trapped beneath a gigantic tower with no one but his close friend Rachel. It is said that if you reach the top of the tower, everything you have ever wanted will be yours; you can become a god. And this is precisely what Rachel aims to do, trying her best to reach the stars. However, Bam follows her, wanting nothing but to be with her. By the end, Bam is believed to be dead, and his grieving friends decide to take Rachel to the top of the tower, thinking that is what he would have wanted. However, they are unaware of Rachel’s fatal betrayal of Bam, pushing him out of the bubble so she could selfishly get to the top. The show saw a huge fandom, and the creators said another season would be on the way. But it has been a while, with many different issues arising each time. At this point, fans have given up on the series receiving a second season.
10. Highschool of the Dead
Despite the unnecessary amount of fan service in this anime, it was a great narrative following a group of high school students trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. The series ends on a cliffhanger, with the group of students having escaped Takagi’s house and driving through the destroyed city. They vow to find some of the group’s parents, and they are then seen standing outside of a shopping mall before the credits roll. Despite the show’s end implying that there was more to come, unfortunately, the manga has been discontinued. Daisuke Sato, the writer and creator of the manga series, sadly passed away in 2017 due to complications from ischemic heart disease. As a result, the chances of there being a second season are slim to none, as there will definitely be no more source material. That is, unless the studio behind the anime decides to create an original anime season two, which from experience, never works out well for any anime series (we are looking at you, Blue Exorcist).
This fun slice life romantic comedy follows Haruhi Fujioka, a girl who pretends to be a boy in order to join the popular host club at Ouran High. Some of the members eventually begin to realise Haruhi is a girl. But the show focuses on the relationships formed within and outside of the school club. Unfortunately, the show ends before anything big happens in the show. We get a cute scene with all the guys being able to share a dance with Haruhi in order from who was least to most interested in her throughout the season. Some people believe the show did not get a second because it was not meant to have one. However, the manga continued with author, Bisco Hatori, releasing more chapters. But the studios never mentioned anything regarding a second season despite there being more material and many fans patiently waiting to see who Haruhi ends up with. It really is a pity that we likely won’t be seeing more of this great show.
8. Yuri! On Ice
After 23-year-old Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki suffers a bad loss at the Grand Prix Final; he decides to hang up his skates for good and return to his hometown. After five years abroad, he returns to Hasetsu in Kyushu; he ends up meeting two professional skaters who may be able to reignite his passion for skating. By the end of the series, Yuri ends up with his lifelong crush, Victor and sees the two skating together at an exhibition event. There have been many issues regarding the show’s second season, with MAPPA announcing they are working on a follow-up film instead. However, they have provided a title for the film; Yuri!!! On Ice The Movie: Ice Adolescence. But then they informed fans that while there is a film in production, no release date is in sight just yet. So this is not a very promising-sounding announcement, but let’s hope fans get to see more from their favourite characters.
7. Yona of the Dawn
The plot follows the red-haired Princess Yona, who has lived a sheltered life inside her castle walls, Crimson Dragon Castle. She is protected by her trusty and reliable bodyguard, Hak. However, when someone tries to usurp the throne, she is forced to flee from the castle with Hak. The two go on a journey for a magic artefact that will give her access to the four legendary dragons and, in turn, help her save her kingdom. Along the way, the two form a romance that many fans were excited to see continue in a second season. However, the series concludes with Yona using the dragons to fight the corrupt Lord who took over her kingdom and defeated him. Unfortunately, while there is material for a second sequel, the anime did not see an increase in sales for the manga. And because of this, the studios decided to drop the show as there was not much profit being made.
This anime classic took the world by storm when it was first released, its first few episodes breaking the fourth wall. The series follows high school delinquent Tatsumi as he is chosen to raise the son of a demon named Beelzebub. From here, the two engage in some crazy, wacky antics. With a 60-episode long run, the show ended with an episode titled ‘I Won’t Say Goodbye’. Unfortunately, despite the manga continuing, the author eventually discontinued the manga. A clear reason was not stated, but it is rumoured to be due to an issue regarding the writing of the manga. As a result, a second season for the show was now out of the question. Any production plans that were made for a second season were now cancelled, which really is a pity.
5. Deadman Wonderland
With some cool character animations and designs, the plot follows a middle school student, Ganta is accused of murdering his entire class. Of course, he is wrongfully accused but still gets taken to a strange prison where they have their prisoners endure weird and perverse torture games. Upon arriving, he discovers that he has a rare superhuman ability and becomes the target of multiple people in prison. By the end of the series, we find out Shiro is the Red Man and are finally about to get a glimpse of Ganta’s true power. We also get a proper look at the ultimate badass of Deadman Wonderland, Mockingbird. And that’s, unfortunately, where the series cuts off. Not only did the show’s ending somewhat stray from the original source material, but the studio that created the show went bankrupt. Of course, this means that the chances of us seeing a second season are very slim. However, the manga has reached its end, so there is that to go off, at least.
4. No Game No Life
Due to the declining health of the anime’s mangaka, it is very unlikely that this anime will see a second season. Similar to the problem with HunterxHunter, the author has to repeatedly take hiatuses due to their health issues. However, the anime has seen a huge fanbase who still want a second season. The plot follows pro-gamer siblings Sora and Shiro (known as Blank) as they are sent to a world where everything is settled by games. This is after beating God himself in a game of chess. The series concludes with Blank winning a game and taking control of the Eastern Federation (Warbeast) territories. Blank then ends up meeting with the Shrine Priest along with the members of the Federation they now own. Madhouse Studios has not confirmed a second season, but they have not confirmed that it has been cancelled either. This means there might still be hope for fans of the series after all.
This dark-fantasy post-apocalyptic anime has a huge and loyal fanbase that has been patiently awaiting the announcement of a second season. Following Ikoma, a steam smith who lost his sister years prior, the anime is set in a world where everything is overrun by aggressive creatures known as Kabane. A group of survivors are travelling by train, trying to find shelter from the monstrous creatures. But as the world is in the middle of an industrial revolution, a giant monster appears that can only be killed by piercing its heart. Unfortunately, its heart is surrounded by an Iron Fortress. The show ends on a cliffhanger, with the survivors barely escaping the battle with their lives and the country left leaderless. Because this is an anime original series (meaning there is no material it is based on), the chances of a second-season renewal are very slim. And considering it’s been seven years since its release, the chances are looking non-existent.
2. Talentless Nana
Nanao Nakajima deals with the seemingly endless taunting of his bullies because he lacks superhuman abilities and is considered ‘talentless’. That is, until a boy named Kyōya Onodera and an upbeat girl named Nana transfer into his class. The class becomes a united front to fight back against the enemies of humanity, scary creatures that just appeared fifty years prior. But then, students from the class begin to disappear, shaking the class’ entire foundation. The series ends with Nana pushing Nanao off a cliff, revealing to him that she is Talentless too and wants to get rid of him before he turns their class into the Enemies of Humanity too. Unfortunately, the show creators and producers have yet to acknowledge whether the show will receive another season. As it stands, it is not looking very likely, but fans can hope.
This anime deserves the top spot for one of the best anime that did not receive a second season. In fact, it should be a crime that this series has not yet been rebooted or renewed for more seasons. The story follows our protagonist, Clare, one of the weakest members of the Claymore. They are a group of half-human, half-demons known as Yoma and are tasked with fighting full-bred Yomas, who are ruthless monsters that prey on humanity. The great thing about the anime is that the Claymores are all women, as men cannot become Claymore and instead end up as these blood-thirsty full-bred Yoma upon trying. With some truly heart-wrenching and utterly shocking scenes (we are specifically talking about Teresa’s death), the series ends on a cliffhanger. It sees four of the Claymore, Miria, Helen, Deneve, and our main character, Clare, expressing their desire to leave the Claymore Organization. They go on their separate ways. Unfortunately, the show would not be able to receive a second season despite how popular it ends up being because there is not enough source material to back it up. The story has been on a 13-year-long hiatus, and despite being popular enough to receive another season, chances of that happening are very unlikely at this rate.
Jesse Jacobs is a talented writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. With a deep interest in anime and gaming, Jesse brings a fresh perspective to her work as an entertainment journalist.
Her passion for all things tech and media-related is evident in her writing, which is always informed and insightful. Jesse's dedication to her craft is matched only by her love of language and history, which she studied in her Bachelor's degree in Ancient Cultures and Applied English Studies.
With her diverse interests and expertise, Jesse is a valuable contributor to FortressofSolitude.co.za. Her articles on anime, gaming, and other topics are always informative and engaging, and her love of language and history brings a unique perspective to her writing.
Whether she's breaking down the latest anime releases or offering her thoughts on the newest games, Jesse's writing is always engaging and thought-provoking. Her passion for her work is infectious, and her contributions to Fortress of Solitude are sure to entertain and enlighten readers.